Vocalist/pianist Diane Schuur is as eclectic as she is brilliant. A longtime disciple of Dinah Washington and other legendary jazz singers of the '40s and '50s, Schuur has built a stellar career by embracing not only the jazz of her parents' generation, but also the pop music of her own youth during the late 1950s and '60s. In a recording career that spans nearly three decades - and includes two Grammy Awards and three Grammy nominations - Schuur's music has explored nearly every corner of the 20th century American musical landscape.
She was still a toddler when she learned to sing the Dinah Washington signature song, "What a Difference a Day Makes." Armed with the rare gift of perfect pitch, Schuur taught herself piano by ear and developed a rich, resonant vocal style early on, as evidenced in a recording of her first public performance at a Holiday Inn in Tacoma when she was ten years old. She received formal piano training at the Washington State School for the Blind, which she attended until age 11. By her early teens, she had amassed her own collection of Washington's records and looked to the legendary vocalist as her primary inspiration.
Schuur made her first record in 1971, a country single entitled "Dear Mommy and Daddy," produced by Jimmy Wakely. Over the next 13 years, Schuur recorded 11 albums on GRP, including two Grammy winners: Timeless (1986) and Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra (1987). The recording with the Basie Orchestra spent 33 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts. In 1991, Pure Schuur made the number-one slot on the Contemporary Jazz charts, and Heart To Heart - a 1994 collaborative recording with B.B. King - entered the Billboard charts at No. 1.
The Masters of Music Big Band is comprised of the finest musicians in the greater Detroit and Toledo areas. These remarkable performers have played for presidents, performed, recorded and toured with hundreds of name entertainers and performed on Grammy winning records. They have played with symphony orchestras, opera ensembles, rock bands, big bands, national and international music festivals and so much more. The band has six recordings to their credit including their live concert of the music of Stan Kenton, and two Big Band (minus 9) recordings. Among others the band has backed up Johnny Mathis, Hal Linden, The Temptations, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Rosemary Clooney, Wayne Newton, The Rat Pack and Regis Philbin.